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Amstel Gold Race: Rating the Ratings!

No more travel, no more passover cooking, no more short posts... it's time for this guy to start wallowing in the Ardennes Classics. Let's look back on today's battle royale:

  • Davide Rebellin Rating: ★★★★★
    Well now... that was a strange race by Tintin. I'm sure he's tried breaking away on the flats more than 10km from the line before, but not too often. His signature in the Ardennes has been to lay low til the final KM or so, and launch a longish sprint effort. This has been devastatingly effective many times over. So why did he burn his legs on a solo? Did he give up on the idea of beating Cunego or Valverde to the line? Verdict: slightly overrated
  • Stefan Schumacher Rating: ★★
    Back in the role of faithful and dangerous lieutenant. Honestly, I'm not sure where he was; he didn't make the split when Schleck hit the gas. Ah well... Verdict: rated
  • Vlad Gusev Rating: ★
    I'm not convinced he was even the captain. Sergey Ivanov rode a good race, triggering Schleck's key move at 17km. Gusev? 91st. Verdict: slightly overrated
  • Alexandre Botcharov Rating: ★
    Silly guess; Gerrans actually made the second chase group, good for 12th. Verdict: incomplete
  • Thomas Voeckler Rating: ★★
    Bubkis. Pineau held out longer for Bweeg. Verdict: slightly overrated
  • Alejandro Valverde Rating: ★★★★★
    Another disappointing ending for a guy known as "el imbatible," but back in the real world third is generally considered a good result. He was right where he needed to be at 600 meters, but just didn't have the finishing kick. After a lighter workload this spring, he could be mimicking DiLuca's campaign last year, where the best was saved for last. We'll see. Verdict: rated
  • Joaquim RodriguezRating: ★★★
    Excellent job in the faithful lieutenant role, weathering a crash midway through the race, leading out his mate for the win, and bagging 8th for himself. Verdict: rated
  • Philippe Gilbert Rating: ★★
    Well, he showed his face, which I suppose is about all you could expect. Casar beat him by a minute, so perhaps it's time to stop calling Gilbert their team leader in the Ardennes. Verdict: slightly overrated.
  • Damiano Cunego Rating: ★★★★★
    Bravissimo! Nailed it. Verdict: rated!
  • Leonardo Bertagnolli Rating: ★
    Pretty much identical to Gilbert. Verdict: rated
  • Andriy Grivko Rating: ★
    Third to last finisher. Swish! Verdict: slightly overrated
  • Peter Velits Rating: ★
    DNF? DNS? If anyone has any idea what happened to him, please contact me. Verdict: INC
  • Thomas Dekker Rating: ★★★★★
    He wasn't all that aggressive, which is disappointing considering that the race presumably means a lot to Rabo, and considering his chances of blowing by Cunego, Rebellin and Valverde were pretty suspect. But he was pretty much in line for the win in the last km, so it's hard to get too critical.Verdict: rated
  • Robert Gesink Rating: ★★
    Looks like Rabo tried to use him in in late-game support, and he got some work in for Freire and Dekker. Not a bad plan. Verdict: rated
  • Riccardo Ricco Rating: ★★★
    Begged off. Not sure why yet. But those questions about his attitude? Not answered. Verdict: INC
  • Frank Schleck Rating: ★★★★
    Man of the Match. Sure, he had no answer for Cunego in the last 300 meters; who does? But he nearly stole away from one superior sprinter; aced out two others; and forced the big selection at 17km when he chased Ivanov with a serious display of power. He just about rode a perfect race. Verdict: slightly underrated!
  • Karsten Kroon Rating: ★★
    Very professional race, though he wasn't as animated as Rodriguez. Verdict: rated
  • Kim Kirchen Rating: ★★★
    About what you'd expect: a player late, though he lacked the pure class to go for the win. Verdict: rated
  • Ryder Hesjedal Rating: ★
  • Martijn Maaskant Rating: ★
    Finished together over five minutes down. No suprise heroics from Slipstream today. I think we'll have to be content calling Maaskant a serious cobbles threat, and not the next Merckx. Verdict: rated